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Photo Adventure – Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park with Children

Photo Adventure – Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park with Children

It was Luke’s turn to pick where we went on vacation, and he said he “wanted to see a volcano.”  Ok then!  After consulting with my favorite travel consultant, Gary – who happened to be visiting at the time, we narrowed down our choices.  After talking everything through, we settled on Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii’s Big Island.

I’ll be honest, I was hoping to see the red lava glow.

It didn’t happen.

When we were there, the volcanic activity had slowed a bit and without renting a helicopter, it wasn’t going to happen. Helicopter rides don’t usually discount the pricing for kids, and I balked at the price of 4 adult helicopter tickets – which was equal to our rental house for the week. So… no lava glow this time.

What we did get to see was a lot of beautiful country! Volcanoes National Park has lush rainforests that neighbor stark black lava from flows years prior. It borders the ocean, and the Chain of Craters road meandered through the park, then followed the coastline for one of the prettiest views I’ve ever encountered.

There was a lot of hiking opportunities (our favorite hike was the Kilauea Iki Trail), and the kids loved exploring the lava tubes.

Volcanoes National Park was one of the most positive experiences we’ve had with the children in a US National Park. Despite their young ages, there was enough to see and do to keep them interested. It was their first tropical rainforest, first volcano, and one of their first experiences driving along the coast.

Chain of Craters Road along Pacific in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

The coastline view from Chain of Craters Road.

It is impossible not to look awesome in Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park Hawaii

The Kilauea Caldera

If you descend through the rainforest, you can walk across a lava flow with the Kilauea Caldera on the horizon.

Warning : If you take this photo, the nearby Japanese tourists will laugh at you. A lot.

Hawaii's Volcanoes National Park

Rainforest overhanging a lava tube.

Standing on a lava flow

  1. Dick Jordan 16 August, 2013

    Alas, no lava was flowing when I was there, either.

  2. Lisa @ Raising Explorers 16 August, 2013

    That looks like lots of fun! I love how you planned your trip based on what your little guy wanted to see – really special. And the photo of your son about to be tossed into the volcano is indeed hilarious!

    • Amy Moore 17 August, 2013

      Hi, Lisa! It was fun. I am trying to incorporate my kids wants as much as possible into our travel. I just had them sit down and make a list of things they would like to do and see this school year. I’ll try to make as many of them happen as I can!

  3. Lisa Wood 17 August, 2013

    now that is one cool adventure! Bummer about the Volcanoes not being active at the time, but at least you all had so much fun, and the pics are fantastic.

  4. Michele {Malaysian Meanders} 18 August, 2013

    Our family enjoyed Volcanoes NP, too. The lava was flowing way off in the distance when we were there in 2010 which was great fun for the kids to see. We went to the Kilauea Caldera at night, and you could see a red glow which my boy thought looked more like a Disney park special effect with red lights.

    • Amy Moore 20 August, 2013

      I think it is quite a bit more active this year. Visitors should be getting a better view!

  5. Mathew Duong 19 August, 2013

    Amazing photos. It was really an interesting adventure. Thanks for sharing with us and love to hear more…